Joined: Jun 21, 2003
Location: Firenze, Italy
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|Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 1:21 pm Post subject:
The true spirit of Hungary is best expressed in her music. Before beginning a survey on the subject, however, a misconception should be dispelled regarding the source and essence of Hungarian music which. for decades, has been identified with Gypsy music. This is a myth.
As Zoltán Kodály pointed out,
...For 500 years, the Gypsies have been living here, lamenting. singing, fiddling, asking for bread. The Hungarians listened, suffered them, gave them food, but did not accept their mode of musical expression and only made friends with their music when the Gypsy, with his gift for mimicry, learned to play Hungarian music for the Hungarian people.
Another misbelief still regards the Hungarian Rhapsodies of Liszt or the Hungarian Dances of Brahms as examples of typical Hungarian music. While it is true that both composers borrowed Hungarian themes for their works, they contain only traces of true Hungarian music, which has become known to the world through the efforts of Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály in the 20th century. Together, they found a treasure house of Magyar folksongs that has survived through many centuries as a heritage of a once flourishing Eurasian culture which existed contemporaneously with the Chinese, Southwest Asian and classical Western cultures. As Kodály later put it: "The Hungarians are the outermost branch of the millennial tree of the great Asian musical culture, which has its roots in the soul of a large number of different peoples from China, through Central Asia, all the way to the Black Sea."
This music, rediscovered from a sunken Hungarian culture brought from the East, is alien to the Indo-Germanic surroundings. Based on the pentatonic scale, it is rather more active than passive with sharp, resolute and diversified rhythms radiating dynamic energy in a true expression of Hungarian soul and spirit.
I learned about Hungarian music through Bela Bartok. I was attracted to him for his use of the piano as a percussion instrument. He is one of my all time favorites. I visited Hungary once. I bought a huge number of LPs (they were so cheap) I think I am the only one having Italian operas sung in Hungarian (disgusting )
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|The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night And his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare |
Last edited by seraph on Mon Sep 29, 2003 1:40 pm; edited 1 time in total